Senior Executive

Handicraft necklace, Nepal

Falko Paetzold

Senior Advisor Sustainable Finance

Falko Paetzold is a leading expert on the barriers that limit the engagement of wealthy private investors, family offices and investment advisors in sustainable investing. He currently serves as Managing Director, Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich. He also works as Research Fellow at the Initiative for Responsible Investment, a research center at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University, where he co-leads an international research and education program that aims to enable the next generation (Next Gen) members of ultra-affluent families to engage in impact investing.

Before joining the Initiative for Responsible Investment, he worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he conducted research on sustainable investing and set up courses on negotiation strategies, sustainability-start ups, and impact investing (2011-2014).

In 2010 Falko founded GreenBuzz, a non-profit that aims to support professionals in the incorporation of sustainability practices into business models. GreenBuzz currently comprises over 7,000 sustainability professionals in chapters in Berlin, Dubai, Edinburgh, Manila, Stockholm and Zurich. Earlier, he worked for four years at Bank Vontobel AG (Switzerland) as a Senior Sustainability Analyst and as a consultant focusing on sustainable investing processes, M&A and Group strategy. Vontobel specializes in wealth and asset management for private clients and institutional investors, as well as investment banking.

Falko holds a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, Department of Banking and Finance. His thesis investigated the decision-making process, narratives and cognition of wealthy private investors and investment advisors in the context of sustainable investing. He received his MBA from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and studied at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada). He was distinguished with the MBA Sustainability Leadership Award from the University of St. Gallen.

He is the author or co-author of various sustainable investing studies and articles, including recently “Unleashing the Powerful Few: Sustainable Investing Behaviour of Wealthy Private Investors” (Organization & Environment, Sage, 2014).